Private islands. Usually you think, Richard Branson, Necker Island — astronomically expensive.
Well, here's the thing: Necker Island wasn't all that expensive. He famously bought it for around $180,000 — several years after a low-ball offer of $100,000, and a fraction of the $6 million asking price. Sometimes, thrift wins.
So basically: Buy the island. Build your empire upon. But which island? We've got an idea.
Coming up for auction: 44 islands in the Dutch Lakes of Vinkeveen, just 12 miles south of Amsterdam. Previous prices for similar islands came out around $10,000.
These are, to be sure, small islands. Think ... sand bars. With trees. And it's possible they're sinking: "By selling them we hope this unique landscape will still be here in 30 years’ time," an alderman told a local paper. Better build that empire quick. (Also, no permanent buildings on the islands.)
But even if you hang a hammock for a couple, summery months a year for the next 15, it's a bargain.